nat's holiday suitcase of things she's going to be doing

I’m very much a firm believer that life keeps throwing you lessons and signs until you heed them. I’ve been in variations of the same situation in the past and have learned to start questioning whether there’s something different that I need to be doing. This isn’t so that I can change other people’s behaviour (waste of frickin time) but more so that I don’t create unnecessary pain for myself by ignoring my own habits of thinking and behaviour, and that I ultimately continue to grow. Things pop into my head. In fact messages pop into my head, like when I had tinnitus and vertigo a couple of years back and from time to time the thought, Do I need to listen to myself and destress? would zoom by my mind like Roadrunner. Meep meep. Turned out that I did.

Since then, the occasional bouts of tinnitus have become my little nagging friend. Tinnitus has taught me to practice being mindful. If it’s ticking, focusing or paying attention to what appears to be a passing thought – but is actually important and needs my attention – seems to quieten it. When I get loud rushing tinnitus like crackling, water rushing through my ear and vague dizziness, it’s a sign that I’m overtired, overdoing it and need to halt. This is when I should see Whoopi Goldberg’s character in Ghost, Oda Mae Brown, saying, Natalie, you in danger girl.

I’ve known for months that I need to take a break. I do take breaks and wind down somewhat when the kids are on holiday but I’ve basically been writing new ‘material’ for BR most weeks even through a maternity leave and a wedding – I can’t believe it’s already over a year since we got married!

Anyway, the message of needing a break has got louder and louder and life has thrown me various signs and then in the past few days, it’s just loaded them up one after another. I need to step back and know my own boundaries.

It’s always important to remember that we can always gripe about how people ‘should’ know better than to do such and such but we do often have to examine where we’re busting our own boundaries.

Prime example: if I don’t want to be stressing about something at dinner time or just before the kids bedtime, it would probably help if I wasn’t looking at email at that time in the first place…

Yesterday morning I experienced a Oh HELLLLLL No moment before it was even 7am and then I got a couple of texts that changed the plan for the morning and this was all before 7.30am. My life is so drama free in comparison to the me of old pre BR days that when I find myself experiencing similar types of OH HELL NO within a matter of hours and all about similar things, I have to cut the BS.

I am not superwoman. For any of you out there that are trying to be all things to all people or stretching yourself to the limit, don’t BS yourself into all sorts of stress. I’ll load myself up periodically but I know when I’m going too far and when I need to come back to base. That time is now.

I’m not superwoman and you’re not superhuman. People will ask or expect things of you, but you know what? You’re under no obligation. They can ask, but you’re free to say yay, nay, or ‘Let me come back to you on that one’.

The sky will not fall down. I promise you. I guarantee it.

Sometimes we get too caught up in worrying too much about what somebody else might think, feel or do if we don’t do or say something. Our imaginations exceed what will actually happen 95% of the time. We have to be careful with our self-esteem fish tank where we may overfeed the fear, insecurity and worry fish, who are greedy and don’t know when they’re full and forget to feed our self-esteem.

So in this last summer of having a preschooler (Nia graduated from preschool today), I’m going to take a break until September when BR will be turning 8 years old. What does that mean? BR will still be updated but I will be primarily putting out some of your favourite posts that are buried in the archives as well as the annual birthday post – I can’t believe I’m 36 next week! Facebook (and Twitter) will still be updated with bursts of inspiration.

I say I’m going to be on a break but with both girls on holiday and oodles of things to do, it’s going to be a busy but relaxing break.

  • I’ll be clearing some outstanding and exciting stuff off my todo list so watch out! I know that when I step back it will clear the way for what I know is going to be a major shift in gears for me, BR and my crew.
  • BR School is in its summer session so I’ll still be popping up in there and there’s some exciting developments there that I will finally have the time to sort out.
  • I’ll be finishing Orange Is The New Black on Netflix (LOVE this primarily female ensemble show) now that I’ve finished all of Arrested Development (first three series were better). I need to finish Nashville and I’m getting into Mad Men.
  • I’ve got a load of half-read books to finish.
  • I’m going to find the time to do Crochet Camp – it’s free and if you see photos from Kat’s book, you’ll spot Nia in it!
  • I’ve got lots of stuff to photograph and some stuff to make for the BR shop. I’m hoping to master my fancy pants camera as well.
  • I going to finish my Headspace sessions – I highly recommend this app and website if you want help on being mindful and cutting the overthinking.
  • I’ll probably have a few mojitos – we’ve got so much mint in the garden, it’d be rude not to. I actually really enjoy the virgin ones especially when I put a splash of cordial in.
  • I’m going to do lots of arts and crafts, reading and being silly with my babies.
  • My mother-in-law is coming to stay for several weeks so it’s probably a good idea for me to get the spare room in order. It also means Em and I are going to party it up! Not really. Sort of.
  • We might get to take our overdue honeymoon! We’re also off to Amsterdam to stay with my bro and we’re off to Italy for a wedding at the end of the summer.
  • We need to move but haven’t had the time to get my bum in gear and we’ve got decluttering to do.

But ultimately, I’m going to give me permission to chill and know myself before I wreck myself.

Have a great weekend and ‘see’ you over the summer!

Big squeezy hugs, Nat xxx

PS If you’d like to suggest an old favourite / topic from the archives that you’d like to see appear over the summer, mention it in the comments.

PPS Before anyone asks, yes of course comments will still be being approved so don’t panic! And the shop is still open so queries and orders will go out as normal.

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94 Responses to Listening to myself – time for a summer break!

  1. JenniferA says:

    Have a wonderful and relaxing time Nat! You have done nothing but enlighten me since I first typed No Contact into the web browser. I live in Nashville and a lot of the scenes from the show were shot in the neighborhood of East Nashville that I dearly love and call home. I still miss the man that brought me here almost every day but am moving ahead with my life in many exciting ways. I look forward to your return!

  2. Confused123 says:

    Have a wonderful summer, Nat and Thank you for everything.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Good lord! You don’t need to justify your vacation to us! You deserve it! Enjoy! Don’t look back! Savor every moment! (And then come back in September to tell us all about it. ;-)

  4. tee tee says:

    Have a good one Nat!
    Thank you for all that you do!

  5. Max says:

    Enjoy your down time…You are the Best Nat!! Any posts on women avoiding Married Men would be my preference! Narcissists too!! Thanks

  6. LadyL says:

    Natalie…I cannot express enough how much your posts have changed my life. Because of BR, I know that I am a better woman! So grateful for your wisdom and your willingness to share your “mistakes” with us. Enjoy your much needed and much deserved me-cation! Your are a blessing.
    In absolute gratitude, love and joy! Ashé.

  7. Xochitl says:

    what fabulous plans! enjoy the YOU time!

  8. 2fearce says:

    Bon Voyage! Enjoy being silly with ur babies!
    Anything on building up ur self esteem n doing things u have dreamed of in spite of overwhelming fear plz.

  9. Lucy says:

    That is a loooong list! Just as long as you accept you may not get half of it done, then you will get to relax and chill. Just remember that’s your priority! Enjoy, you deserve it.

  10. Suze says:

    Enjoy your break, Nat! You deserve it! Have a happy honeymoon and birthday! I’m checking out orange is the new black, too. <3

  11. Tired of Assanova says:

    There was one post – ‘YOU KNOW HE’S UNAVAILABLE WHEN IT’S A CASUAL RELATIONSHIP OR SEX IS A WEAPON’ that I would recommend.

    Other than that have a good holiday

  12. Amy says:

    You have a very good time Nat! Much deserved. I have followed you since 2009. Thank you so much for your words and insight. I would like to read anything about getting over being “stuck” at the end of a relationship…

  13. Lizzy says:

    No one deserves a break more than you Natalie! Can’t tell you how much i appreciate you and your work. Have a wonderful summer, see you on the other side! X

  14. theseamstress says:

    I’m always amazed by how much you achieve and how generous you are. It’s about time you kicked back. I’ll miss you but I am glad you are taking a break. How about some guest posts from some of the stunning writers you have commenting here? Naming no names, but what a community?! Large round of applause and wishing you well.

  15. Janine says:

    Have a fantastic break and a great summer! And thank you, as always, for all your wonderful posts and reminders! Bonne Vacation.

  16. Claire says:

    Natalie you deserve this break immensely & your plans sound fantastic, enjoy it all to it’s fullest. Lots of love & heart felt best wishes for you & your precious family xx

  17. Have a fantastic summer!

  18. Moving On says:

    Hi Natalie. I hope you let yourself have plenty of time and space to just do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Be totally “worthless” for an afternoon (and I mean that in a good way – don’t get anything done). Several times while on your break.

    This is coming from someone who didn’t listen to her body or her boundaries. I kept myself at a too-high stress level for years, and ended up with a chronic illness and chronic fatigue. The adrenal glands can actually become exhausted and they don’t necessarily “come back”.

    I’m amazed at your output and yet just recently I was wondering if you might need a break.

    Many thanks for all of your resonating insights and fabulous way with words. Lots of love!

  19. Spinster says:

    Enjoy your much-needed break. Take it easy & take care.

  20. Revolution says:

    Girl. I KNOW how much work it is to come up with, write, rewrite, then rewrite, then rewrite, then rewrite, then edit, then rewrite, then rewrite, then edit (phew! ;)) new material. And you doing it multiple times a week with two little ones under ten, a hubby, and Lord knows what else? Well….that’s almost on par with the parting of the Red Sea.

    Go get some rest, darling. (Need I even mention that you deserve it?!)Party it up, have several mojitos (just drink a lot of water before bed!), watch Netflix and Hulu (I’m into Master Chef these days…Gordon Ramsey, rowr ;)) Just have a damn good time, sister. Here’s some sugar from Revs: MWAAHH! :)

  21. Stephanie says:

    Enjoy your break Natalie, you must catch up with Mad Men its brilliant!

    Any posts on men blowing hot and cold and when you know they are using you for sex would be good. I’ve got a friend that I’ve introduced to BR and she has experienced those topics.

    See ya in September.

  22. Rachael says:

    Self care. No one else will do it for us.

  23. Carla says:

    LMAO! I basically died laughing with Oda Mae’s “you in danger girl”. It’s the perfect, humorous visual for those kinds of situations.
    NATALIE, I wish you a wonderful break! You give so much of yourself to us readers. You make our life so much better. You will certainly be missed, but I’m truly excited for you during this hiatus.
    I’m sure you’ll come back refreshed with new energy. I can’t wait to read you upon your return.

    Love & light to you and your family!

  24. Kit-Kat says:

    Enjoy your summer break. It does make me a little sad to know I wont be receiving my weekly update of a new post you have made in my email box. But hey, you have some really awesome old post I refer back to from time to time.. Enjoy your summer break !!! I can’t express how much I have learned, grown, healed from this blog. Thank you :)

  25. Lotus says:

    Thank you so much Natalie – you are the best! Have a great holiday or rest. Your blog really is the gold standard in getting smart, moving on and getting happy. I always go back to your posts whenever I find my thoughts need a little refresher course in reality. And that good reality can be much better than a warped fantasy.

  26. Anoosh says:

    I was gonna say… How does she do it??!! fantastic, have a wonderful break. You **SOOOO** deserve it!!! I’ve been sort of doing the same thing lately, self imposed taking a bit easy. Helps. Looking forward to getting rejuvenated, and re energized for Fall …

  27. Diane says:

    Natalie, your wisdom has helped me so much this past year, I can not begin to thank you enough! Have a wonderful summer break, you deserve only the best :)

  28. Debalina says:

    Hope you have a fabulous break and accomplish everything you set our to do, and more. Enjoy the time off and look forward to your return Xx

  29. Beth says:

    Just so you know, I LOVE your blog. If it wasn’t for this site and your posts I’d be doing the same thing over, and over, and over….I have learned so much through you.

    Enjoy your vacation and always know, YOU have helped thousands of women with your knowledge and willingness to share your personal stories of heartbreak, your growth as a woman, as a wife, as a mother and by demonstrating that you have amazing love by trying to teach those of us who are willing to listen.

    Peace to you and your family!

  30. Deno says:

    Dear Nats,
    Big Ups to you girrrlll! Take your vacation and have a ball. Stick your toes in the sand and get brown like a nutmeg. Oh sorry, you are not in Jamaica. Anyhoo, have as much fun as you can legally!! Blessings and Love,
    See you in Sept!

  31. newmoi says:

    I’m glad that with all that you do to help others that you are honest with yourself about the need to take a break. Live what you teach. We’ll be around. :-)

  32. Peanut says:

    YES. YES. YES.

    Natalie,

    Whoopi is a regular badass in that clip. And I’ve been through just what you are talking of.

    After I quit my job, I realized I needed a summer. I NEEDED a break. And I was terrified of what my family would think. Naturally, the three or so family members that are generally supportive of me were generally supportive of me.

    Then I feared the cackling hyenas would come out to play if they smelled blood and fear. But I had to learn to let their comments and expectations roll off me like the sweat off my back. I HAD to. For my own sanity. They are not me and HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL ME HOW TO LIVE.

    JUST BECAUSE I MADE A WHOLE HEAP OF DECISIONS THAT WORKED TOWARD ME LIVING THE LIFE I WANT DOES NOT GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO JUDGE, ATTACK OR ORDER ME AROUND. IT JUST DOESN’T. END OF.

    Every time I start to fear their judgments I have to take a deep breath and remember I am not that five-year-old little girl they used to bully to no end.

    They don’t own me.

    I OWN ME.

    AND I AM A GROWN WOMAN WHO MAKES AND OWNS HER OWN DECISIONS AND CHOICES!

    AND THIS MEAN GIRL EPISODE IS OVER. I am not a girl. And I DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT ANY MISTREATMENT FROM THEM. THEY HAVE NO RIGHT OR REASON TO JUDGE ME.

    Whoah, anyway, Nat, thank you for all you do and

    ENJOY THAT BREAK. YOU DESERVE IT.

    And if any of my family members come at me all mean spirited, I’m gonna channel my inner Whoopi (I practice in the mirror and it ain’t pretty) they’re gonna get a mouthful and wish they’d picked on someone else because this fiery Texas lady has had ENOUGH.

    BTW. And REALLY enjoy that break. :)

  33. Little Star says:

    Dear Natalie, have a wonderful time with your family! I feel much better, decided to give up men till 2014 and feel great:) I have so many things to do, and my life is interesting and exciting without my ex ACs!!! Thanks to you Natalie, I realized that I can be happy without man:)

  34. Nikki says:

    Have an amazing break Natalie! I’ve grown so much over the past couple of years since my breakup w/ AC/Unavailable. I’ve been able to get to know me and love me. Thank you so much because if I didn’t find BR, I wouldn’t have been able to get this far. You’ve made me realize that I’m not alone and I have to accept responsibility for MY actions. Everytime I read you let posts, I think of you as my aunt (in my head lol). Thank you! Thank you! & Enjoy your vacay :-)

  35. Lilly says:

    The day I found BR was the day I started the climb out of ‘relationship’ hell. I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am to have found you Natalie and your amazing readers. Enjoy your much deserved break. As for posts anything to do with re-building self-esteem would be great. AC’s out; self-esteem in. Sending you and yours much love and hugs and see you in September, xxxx.

  36. Sophia says:

    Have a great time with your family and friends, Natalie. Thanks for sharing your insights on dealing with emotionally unavailable people. There is so much I have learned from your posts and books – lessons that shed light on things one could do to heal and protect her heart.

    There are so many gems to pick from your treaure of posts. But former posts on the following topics might be helpful:

    1) How to deal with red flags and ambiguities. How to recognize and respond to passive aggressive behaviour so that one knows when to opt out of a relationship.

    2) How to assess people during the dating phase. How to discover things about them that could be shady. How to control our own expectations and assumptions during the dating phase.

    3) How to let go of someone blowing hot and cold. How to bounce back from a disappointing relationship instead of sinking into confusion and depression.

    4) How to embrace being single instead of settling for crumbs in a relationship. How to build self-esteem.

    I can say with certainty that your posts have had a life-changing impact on me. Had I not discovered your blog and books, I could have taken a lot longer to become aware of the relationship habits that were hurting me. I am on my way out of the dark hole, and feeling a lot more capable of detecting and dealing with shady behaviour. Through your posts, I have learned that I can be nice but not naive. I can look out for my best interests.

    Thanks, Natalie.

  37. At Peace says:

    ENJOY your much needed holiday Nat!!! I was wondering why it took you so so long to take that much needed break. I am SO glad that you have finally gotten around to it though!!! :-)

    (((BIG HUGS)))

  38. Sushi says:

    Dear Natalie,

    How on earth you do what you do and not get burnt out…. Have a great break !
    Looking forward to some older posts as always mean to read them and always too preoccupied with the current food for thought.
    Anything there please on ways on enforcing your boundaries with people you want in your life but who keep pushing buttons out of old habit ? You know, the ones that don’t mean you harm ( having a break myself, time with family looms large).
    Have a wonderful time xxx

  39. Tenneil says:

    Considering all that you’ve done to help thousands of women (and men), it’s now time to concentrate on yourself and enjoy your summer, Natalie! It looks like you’ve got a long list of things to fill your days with and when you return, I hope you’ll feel reenergised, refreshed and inspired. :)

    I know you must get this a lot, but in the six months that I have been reading BR, a lot of have positive changes have come about within myself and part of that is my amazing support network of family and friends and a HUGE part of that is you, Natalie.

    At the end of last year, I went through a pretty horrible break up with my first boyfriend who was a EUM/AC and when it ended, I had no idea who I was or what I was doing with my life. I felt like I was going through a quarter life crisis! Fast forward six months later through my incessant BR reading, I’m now living in a new city away from my family and friends doing an internship for a digital marketing agency and finding my passion in life. I’ve finally left that shitty retail job that made me so miserable and I’m putting that uni degree into use!

    I’m discovering new hobbies, eating well (though I let myself indulge on the weekends!) and relearning to be happy on my own. Getting up early to do exercise seems to be my biggest challenge, but I’m always going to be a work in progress, I’ve learnt. I just have to keep pushing myself to be the best person I can be.

    I have no idea where my internship will lead me when it ends and I do worry about the future sometimes, but I’m trying to keep my mind in the present and just enjoy each day as it comes. I’m definitely going to look into this Headspace website as I’m more than guilty for over-thinking. I even still think about him and I hate when my mind wanders back to him. There’s nothing left for me to learn from him, nothing I need to say to him and nothing he needs to say to me (I’m finally over needing validation from him! I thought this day would never come!), yet my mind still lingers.

    There is nothing more that I could say that could express my appreciation for you and BR in its entirety, but thank you so much for showing me that there’s still light when it’s dark and for helping me to grow as a person. I’m not afraid to be the person I’m meant to be anymore. You’re basically an absolute babe, Natalie, and we all love you!

    xox

  40. Lau_ra says:

    Oh, Nat, have a great time on your holiday!
    Hugs from someone who survived a terrible heartbreak and started changing her views and patterns just because of this wonderful blog and its community!

  41. Gina says:

    Have a great time Nat !!! =))
    Enjoy your summer :- D

    I would suggest some posts on self-love and trusting your gut, they never hurt ;-)
    Best Wishes
    Gina

  42. Chutzpelady says:

    Have a Great Break – You inspired me to dare to relax! Many thanks from Zurich!!

  43. MaryW says:

    Natalie, enjoy your well deserved break. Thanks for all the effort you put in to this excellent place. Have fun!

  44. Wiser says:

    Natalie, what a lifesaver this site has been for me! If you have any posts about bouncing back from intense disappointment and regaining one’s confidence, that would be helpful. Thank you for all the time and effort you give to us!

  45. Juls says:

    Hey Nat am so pleased you are doing this for you. You have been such an inspiration and life saver – i say thank you from the depth of my almost healed heart that i could not have done with out you wisdom, kind words n the occasional kick in the butt :) Please invest in yourself do some crazy things sleep late, have breakfast in bed , treat yourself to s massage or 10 chill, recon and love being wit your precious husband a lovely girls
    :):)the angels

  46. Tanya Z. says:

    Natalie, I am so glad to see you doing what you advise us to — listening to yourself, thinking about what you need, setting reasonable boundaries, and communicating them in a calm, firm, non-blaming way. I’m so used to doing too much, while quietly resenting it, and then getting angrier and angrier, until I finally say something that I later regret. So many of the people around me do it too. It’s good to be reminded that there is this better way of handling things.

    Can I just say that you may be doing what I do when I have some free time — make this huge list of everything that I want to do, and then feel stressed when I can’t accomplish everything on it. Nothing wrong with the list — but if you also just want to sit and do nothing sometimes, good! I have to keep reminding myself of this. Enjoy your summer. You deserve it.

  47. SearchingForSatori says:

    LOL I am addicted to both crochet and “Orange is the New Black,” but that’s better than being addicted to an AC, and I have Nat to thank for that. Thank you!

  48. yoghurt says:

    Oh Nat, I’m so glad that you’re going to give yourself a Really Good Break. I’m on my first day of mooching with son – We’re ALLOWED to mooch (for a couple of days, anyroad) and it feels ACE.

    Hope you have a lovely memorable and beautiful summer. Thanks for everything that you do xx

  49. frieda says:

    Happy Birthday, Natalie! How did someone so young (and beautiful!) become so wise?

  50. noquay says:

    Nat
    Enjoy your time with your family. I am so indebted to you for these posts. Although I may never get to the point of not dreading the coming of the school year, I no longer cringe at the thought of having to face the at work AC again along with his narcissistic shenanigans. Yep, I may be alone for a long time, maybe permanently, but part of that is my absolute refusal to accept crumbs of any sort. As I look back at my six plus years here, I do have to take note thatI aaccomplished something. Going from someone whose marriage had recently ended, who was in dire financial straits, who had recently had a lumpectomy, who had been stalked by one loser and attacked by another. Coming to a town I knew little about. Teaching myself to farm at 10,000+ feet, making myself learn to use power tools as most men here are unreliable, building two buildings and a deck, hauling wood, hauling rocks, planting trees and I forgot, doing my real job too. You Nat, have done much more. Thanks and enjoy, eh?

  51. Debbie says:

    Good for you! It’s funny how your post usually seem to hit what I need to work on. I realized about two weeks ago there were some personal for me only boundaries I needed to start respecting like going to bed at a time where I would move towards getting enough sleep.

    Enjoy your Summer!

  52. honey badger says:

    A well-deserved break! I just want to say thank you for working so hard here to help others. I so appreciate your writing and insight and compassion. I never fail to feel better after reading! Thank you and have a great holiday!

  53. tiffrbug says:

    Enjoy an amazing summer! Thank you for all you do!:)

  54. Free says:

    I often wonder when I come here, how you do it all. You say you’re not superwoman but you come in a close second. What I admire is that you are intuned with yourself to know when it’s time to take a break and lighten up the load.

    Enjoy, re-energize, renew, have fun! There’s so much to read here and we’ll be just fine until you get back!!

  55. Kriss says:

    Have a wonderful break – you deserve it!

  56. Jamie says:

    Hi Natalie!!

    I wish you much happiness, peace & laughter during your break. Your teaching by example is of more value than you could possibly imagine.

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

    Hugz,
    Jamie

  57. Allison says:

    Enjoy the rest of your summer, and have a fantastic birthday!!!! :)

  58. Swissmiss says:

    Boing! Right between the eyes again! Happiest of birthdays and hols, Nat…I think we all agree here you need a break.

    That sentence, ‘Our imaginations exceed what will actually happen 95% of the time’ caught my eye. After months NC, the XMM called and thanks to BR I was ready! I knew it was just a drive-by, trying to see if I could be activated as a narcisstic supply. Was there a little bit more emotion in my voice than I wanted? Yes, but that’s ok. Did the ‘I miss you,” “You’re the love of my life,’ “I am restarting the divorce process, ” move me? Heck no! Nat could have scripted it, right down to using the office phone.

    I remember him calling once before and how flipped out & upset I was. Not now. I practically memorized “Translations” and it paid off.

    I em’d him “Contact me after the divorce. Til then, I don’t want to be party to a deception or serve as asounding board”(effing LIFE RAFT would have been more like it). Do I wish I could have been steady enough to say these things on the phone? Yes, but that’s ok, too. I have my self-respect back.

    He went dark right away. Home with the Little Woman, I suspect. I could actually see myself in the parallel universe, devastated from the loss of hope. Not!

    The start of NC is torment, your heart is like a fist, then you open yourself a little and the signs starts flshing in neon. Have a date tonite. Onward, to the future

  59. Tammy says:

    Good for you!! I’m glad to hear you are taking a break. I sometimes don’t know how you do it all!! Something I would love to see pulled from the archives is on the line of… Asking the hard questions in dating and relationships, or anything with online dating that has you questioning a potential date. This is going on with me currently as I have been talking online with a guy I was matched up with on eHarmony. We have been talking for about a week, decided to meet up (in a few days) and luckily I did some homework on some things he said that weren’t sitting well with me. Some red flags were waving and as usual, I questioned myself as maybe I’m just being overly-critical now that I know what to look for. Turns out he is not 53 years old but 64! I’m 48 and wanted someone up to age 55. Also a good chance he is married. I wanted to just delete him from my matches but wanted him to know I was on to him. Today after reading many of your older posts, I finally sent him a message telling him what I’ve found out and wonder if he will just ignore me or try to come up with some excuses to cover his lies. Our meet up is not ever happening. So glad I didn’t ignore my gut.

    Anyway…. have a wonderful time getting your to-do list in order. Thanks for all the time you dedicate to all of us. Getting new posts is great but so is going back to the older stuff that is still so relevant.

    Hugs!
    Tammy

    • lizzp says:

      Hi Tammy, that really sucks. I think you should report him to eharmony. They should be doing everything they can to prevent this sort of thing happening. I hope you’ve kept the emails where he’s lied about his age/possibly marital status. Or are the lies in his profile stats? I’m not on eharmony now but was for about 6 months back in 2010/11 and isn’t it quite expensive? If he’s lied on his profile he should be reported to protect other (paying) members.

  60. lizzp says:

    Happy Birthday Natalie. :-). As with the other women who frequent your blog, I’ll take this opportunity to express my profound gratitude for what you do here. Thank you for providing this truly incredible online environment. You have a very special gift and there is no better way to live a life than to utilise our strengths and abilities to better our own lives and those of others. With deep gratitude, lizzp.

  61. AM says:

    Excellent article, Natalie! I love your blog! FYI medications can cause tinnitus and vertigo so perhaps consider what you are taking (if any). I found this when I had tinnitus and vertigo when taking an antibiotic (doxycycline), which went away when I stopped taking it. Enjoy your break!

  62. Gibby says:

    Natalie,
    Thank You for all your hard work and literally transforming lives. Making the world a better place. Enjoy the British sunshine while it is here :)
    Gibby

  63. runnergirl says:

    Good for you Natalie. You are walking the talk and leading by example. Enjoy those little sweet girls and your wonderful hubby and enjoy your time. They are very fortunate to have you as are we. I love your “to do” list! A woman after my own heart. She makes a “to do” list for her time “off”…he,he,he. How wonderful, a wedding in Italy. I hope you get the long overdue honeymoon too.

    Most of all, happppppppy birthday.

    Oh, oh, oh, can you do the “Suck it and See” post. I loved that one. And the “Broken Windows” one. Loved that one too.

    Sending warm hugs and thoughts to you and your family. Love, Runner

  64. Bellaninha says:

    Hey Natalie! About time you took this break! Nobody deserves it more than you! You’ve been there every week for me since I followed BR in Dec 2009!

    I couldn’t even manage to finish the Patten Breaking course, and for ages Ive been meaning to get around to writing to apologise for that, given how much effort you put into all of us here. I honestly do not know how you do it, and thank you so much for your continued wise words. Number 1 on my list then is to finish the course work by September!!

    I’m just so grateful for having found your blog and am in a much better place lately just following some of your feedback on my backstory, particularly about looking for my triggers. I’m enjoying life now like I didn’t know was possible – not drinking, not going out seeking male attention, feeling my feelings, and doing things for me! Like playing my flute again, making candles, going to Spanish speaking meetup group, theatre, continuing things that excite me.

    My new teeny tiny flat in London is set to complete this Friday(!!!) and so I’ll be busy renovating that for the next month. Who would have thought this when I met you 2 years years ago when I was still all over the place?? Oh I still have my moments.. But you always give me hope through your inspiring writing and compassion. gracias :)

    I loved this post. Have an amazing time doing all the things you love this summer! Xxxxx

  65. Tulipa says:

    Congratulations on eight years of Baggage Reclaim, Natalie.
    Have a great summer holiday with your family.
    Happy B’day to you as well.
    Thank you for all your help across the years.

  66. Sheela says:

    Hey Nat,you go out there and have a jolly good time!

    Big squeezy hugs(love that!) right back to you!

  67. espresso says:

    Have a wonderful and well deserved break Natalie and enjoy hanging out with your family. We will miss your wise words. I look forward to going back over the posts that I haven’t read yet. Lots of gems there…

  68. Natasha says:

    Enjoy the summer Nat and have the best-est birthday ever!! :) Your response to any question beyond “How much mint do I need in my mojito?” should be Lucille Bluth’s:

    “I don’t understand the question…and I won’t respond to it.”

  69. Kitty says:

    Phew, for a minute there I thought you were going into BR retirement. OF COURSE you should take time off over the summer! Next year I reckon you should do a full July to September break, you give us so much, you really deserve time off!!!

  70. Magnolia says:

    Good for you, Natalie, enjoy your break! Happy 36th and I’ll send you positive vibes when I think of all the reasons I’ve begun the Headspace practice.

    I liked the 3-part series on knowing your own values and valuing yourself.

  71. Getting there slowly says:

    Have a wonderful break! You deserve it, and your kids will love it too.

    I’d love to see some posts on self-love and controlling self-blame for other people’s behaviour.

    I still struggle with this problem, and pop-up reminders on your blog are wonderful ways of reminding me to work on this.

    Lots of love and rest up!

  72. TeaCozy says:

    Have a lovely break!

    You asked for suggestions for classic posts to revive during your break. How about “I Am Not that Woman”? That one always recharges my batteries.

    Thanks for all you do, Natalie.

  73. Ms Determined says:

    NML my love, I hope you have a blindingly good break. May it include some kid-free moments and some naughty horizontal time with the gorgeous man, in sunshine preferably. Cor. Oh dear, now I’m wishing that was me….

    Posts. Mmmm. VALUES. There was a three part series you did about values and likening how you feel about yourself to real estate and property values. My god that was awesome. Please recycle that one (and there’s three parts, so there’s some filler while you and Mr Natalie, get, um, busy).

    Wishing you all the joy and relaxation in the world. ZOMG do you deserve it! You brain surgeon you. xxx

  74. Lele says:

    Lovely! I hope you have a wonderful time with yourself and your family.

    While all your posts seem timely this one especially resonates because we do need to stop and regroup from time to time. I’m moving and starting a new job in the next few weeks as well as trying to get my girl ready for school. It’s a lot of stuff that normally would make my head spin. But I’m going to focus on my list, take some time for me, do fun things with the girl, and it will all get done. Happy Summer!

  75. Lacy says:

    Good for you Nat enjoy your summer!

  76. Tabitha says:

    I will look out for you in Italy Natalie!
    Thanks for all you do.
    Re old posts, the ones about being friends with the ex were very useful to me in the early days.
    And of course, anything about boundaries.
    Enjoy your summer, you deserve the best of everything.

  77. Hope says:

    Have a wonderful break, Nat! Know that your advice and wisdom have been so helpful and necessary to my healing and getting over my relationship with an EUM/ex-man with girlfriend. I found your site and book in December when it felt like the walls were falling in around me. Eight months later I’m much, much better. Any of your posts regarding the consequences of an affair and those that detail with the web of emotions that are a part of these “relationships” would be very helpful. They acted as a primer of sorts for me. And I still turn to them when necessary. I’m sure others would benefit as well.

    Enjoy your time away and that beautiful family of yours!

  78. Roberto says:

    Been single/celibate over a month and not dating anyone… so i dropped EUM from my name. I still have low self esteem but working on it.

    Mother in law can be challenging to deal with, but it’s great that she’ll baby sit for you. Enjoy date nights, and sometimes the best dates are when you don’t go out and just stay in bed… keep that flame burning.

    I would like to read articles that are older than 2.5 years because I’ve been reading every article since then. In particular, articles that deal with red flags and boundary busting behavior.

    Im also making new social life so articles that relate to friendships and circles of trust will be helpful for me.

    Thank you and enjoy vacation.

  79. [...] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the [...]

  80. Sanntay says:

    Enjoy your well deserved break! Thank you so much for this website. It has been life changing for me and I’ve learned so much. Any re-posts about getting over “imaginary” or one-sided relationships would be great.

  81. [...] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the [...]

  82. [...] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the [...]

  83. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

  84. Kat says:

    Enjoy your break Nat :) Good luck with the Crochet Camp too!!! Looks amazing! I want to do it too! xxx

  85. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

  86. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

  87. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

  88. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives. The following […]

  89. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September (I can’t believe that it’s been 4 weeks already) so I’ll mostly be featuring some […]

  90. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I’ll mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

  91. […] forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I’ll mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the […]

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!